Focus on the Tree, Not the Leaves

"Focus on the Tree, Not the Leaves"

Several weeks ago, I mentioned in a sermon that a doctor at Harvard posted an article about stress and high blood pressure (Hypertension). She wrote that though stress alone might not cause high blood pressure, it certainly can raise blood pressure levels. Stress can be very dangerous.

Unfortunately, we live in a very stressful world. There are many threats around us, but they are not necessarily physical threats that we can physically fight and keep at a distance. These "intangible" threats may be against our finances, our job security, our friendships, our relationships, our goals, our self-identity, etc. With no real external and physical way of unloading this stress, we sometimes internalize it. This can start a burdensome cycle of stress: we get stressed, we are stressed that we are stressed, which leads to more stress, and the cycle continues!

“1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11

If you stare at a single leaf, you might rejoice as you watch it grow, but you will weep as you watch it inevitably fall. Leaves grow and fall in season. How foolish you would be to obsess over a single leaf and miss the whole tree.

Sometimes, we live our lives the same way. We obsess over a single falling leaf and neglect the health and worth of the whole tree. You can't put your security and identity in temporary leaves. Don't sacrifice the tree for the leaves.

Take some time today to chill out and look at the big picture. Meditate on the tree that God is creating you to be. It’s not about short term success, it’s about long term Christlikeness. Focus on growing into a wholesome, healthy, Christlike tree.

Slow down and look at the big picture. Trees lose their leaves every winter. They do not panic. Because they know they will return in time. Take a deep breath, slow down, and center yourself on Christ and Eternity again. You will get through this. And even if you lose your leaves, if you are rooted in Christ, you will in time bear good fruit.